#Gameof72: Two schoolgirls disappear ‘after playing worrying Facebook vanishing game’

Sinister new Facebook trend, the Game Of 72, has been linked to the disappearance of two young Essex schoolgirls

#Gameof72: Two schoolgirls disappear ‘after playing worrying Facebook vanishing game’

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Last year, the Ice Bucket Challenge was all over our Facebook news feeds - but this year’s social media trend is far more disturbing.

Dubbed the ‘Game Of 72’, the chilling new Facebook craze sees youngsters dare one another to ‘vanish’ for three days - aka 72 hours - without letting anyone know their whereabouts.

They only ‘win’ the game if they are registered as a missing person, and remain unfound until the time is up.

The game has now been linked to the disappearance of two teenage schoolgirls, 14-year-old Siobhan Clark (pictured above, right) and her 15-year-old friend Sammy Clarke (pictured above, left), who vanished last Friday.

Their vanishing sparked a major police search for the girls, as well as an investigation into their 22-year-old friend Keiran Hartley-Anderson.

The trio were eventually found together, unharmed, in Westcliff, Southend-on-Sea.

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Police have since arrested Hartley-Anderson in connection to the girls’ disappearance, and, while an official statement has yet to be made, neighbours have come forward to say that the disappearance has been linked to the Game of 72.

Jo Gillette told the Daily Mail: “We heard the girls went missing and that it might be part of this new craze in the area.

“Apparently they’re dared then suddenly they disappear without a trace, without telling their parents or anyone else.

“It’s a really worrying game to be playing in this day and age. The poor parents of those schoolgirls, they must have been worried sick.”

News of the Game Of 72’s existence only came to light when a 13-year-old schoolgirl went missing for three days in France, before turning up safe and well at her home.

According to French police, “Emma” refused to give up any further details of where she went during her disappearance, or what she did during the days she was missing.

However she did claim that she did disappear because of the bizarre game.

She was quoted as saying: “It’s looking [at] images on the internet that I fell on this game.

“It is to stay as long as possible and to frighten parents. Initially, it is believed that it is fun but in the end, it is ridiculous.”

The French group Against Dangerous Games for Children said: “We urge all parents to be aware their children might be involved in this game.

“Children must be told it is much better to fail the game, than risk a dangerous situation and never come home at all.”

Child psychologist Dr. Myrna Shure has also urged parents to talk to their children about the trend, insisting that adult conversation is the only way to try to prevent them from copying other kids.

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She told News 1130: “[Don’t ask] ‘Why are you doing this?’ Rather, ‘What is it about this that excites you? Is that a good idea? Is there another way to make friends?'”

“You can say ‘Well I understand your need to do this’ and then use general information-seeking questions. Ask them ‘What could happen if you do this?’ Let the child tell you. ‘Do you want that to happen?’ ‘What can you do so that won’t happen?'”

Have you heard of the Game Of 72? Let us know via the comments box below now.

Images of missing schoolgirls obtained via Essex Police.

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